April 23, 2016

I can finally run three miles and feel good while I’m doing it.  I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to get to this stage.    The inactivity that took over my life in the past year is starting to dissipate.   It’s starting to get lighter earlier every morning, so I’m able to get my runs in in the morning.

I’ve decided to try a different marathon training plan this time around.   I found this plan on the Women’s Running Magazine page.   It’s the Hanson’s Marathon Method.


hmm, this sounds interesting…

The idea behind this plan is to run more, to replicate the last 16 miles of the marathon, thereby teaching yourself to run on tired legs.   The runs are not always long during the week.  And your longest long run is 16 miles.   Since my running took a hit this year, I’ve decided to go with the Just Finish plan that’s mapped out in the book.   I start my training on the plan near the end of May for my marathon in October.   The first week is a total of a mere twelve miles – something that feels achievable to me right now.

The best thing I can do, or for that matter anyone should do, is set myself up for success in running.   I know this plan is doable with my schedule and will help build up my running program again.  So I’m very excited to train a new way and get to my goal of finishing my next marathon.


Random Pal picture

In the garden this week, things are starting to really show themselves.  The milkweed has really taken over its little corner at the end of the garden.  One of the meadow flowers is a little invasive in the rest of the gardens, so I’ve been working on getting that out from everywhere.   I’m excited to have a new garden going in front of our screen porch. My plans include a variety of perennials and shrubs and a wildlife pond.   I’ll start planting this week.

Finally, it was Earth Day yesterday.   Please love your Mother Earth.  If I could just have one wish this is what it would be – that people would stop the chemical warfare they have on their lawns.   All of the herbicides that are used to kill crabgrass, dandelions, and other things that seem unsightly to people is bad for the earth.   The use of these chemicals also affects the home environment of  earthworms, ladybugs, praying mantis, native bees and a myriad of other organisms, animals, and insects.  Please, please stop the madness!!   (and now I’ll step down off of my soapbox)

Happy running and gardening!

By the way, I’m on Instagram now @aruninthegarden  Check it out and follow me!









Since I’ve been running, I’ve almost always done my runs in the early morning.  It just seemed better that way.   I would get up early, go for my run, and come home to start the day.  I would get back from my run, and get my breakfast ready.  I always felt so athletic — yes, I said athletic — standing at the stove making my eggs, while still in my running clothes.  It set the tone for my whole day if I ran in the morning.  I ate better.  I walked a little taller — not that I thought I was better than others, but I just felt like I had already accomplished something so early in the morning.   It made me feel strong!

Since starting this new job, it has been a chore to get runs done in the morning.   With all the changes in my life this past year that resulted in not running enough, I knew that I had to make some changes if I was to continue as a runner.   I had to stop thinking I could only run in the morning!   I did run last summer with a friend who started a weekly running group after work.  I did okay.  I ran when I got done work in time to get there.  It was good.  Plus we would get a drink afterwards, so that was double the fun!

I had gotten up early to run this morning, but I never made it out the door.  I made my mind up at work today that since I didn’t get my scheduled run done this morning, I needed to go out and get my run done after work.  So  that was that.   When I got home from work, I got on my clothes and headed out. My reward was not only a good run, but a beautiful sunset!   I think I might like nighttime running a little more now.

Change is good for all of us.  It keeps us on our toes.  It makes your mind grow to appreciate new things.    Sometimes to get what you want in life, you need to change the way you’re doing things to get to the next step in your journey.


In the garden this week there’s not too much going on.  The rain barrels are almost set up again.   The daffodils are really starting to bloom.  It’s still supposed to be fairly cold at night yet this week, but I don’t think I’ll have to go out a pick all the daffodils to save them from the frost.   I’ve got grape hyacinths blooming in all of the gardens.   They just spread more every year.

I’m so very happy spring is here!

Happy running and gardening!

March 12, 2016

I am woefully out of shape,  it’s been a long time since I last blogged,  and before this morning my running was on the back burner.  Thankfully I made it out the door this morning and got about 40 minutes of running in.  And that run spurred me to start writing again.

Last year, after my injury, I was worried about gaining weight and not running.  And rightly so.   When I got back to about 80 percent of normal, I got the great news of snagging a job I had been trying to get for almost a year.   It was overwhelming to go from my free-lance job to reporting to work every day and putting in many hours and sitting at a desk, when I wasn’t in the courtroom.

For a good three months I would come home from work and just crash!   I knew I had to work out or run or something when I got home, but I just didn’t have the energy.   Many nights in the first few weeks I was in bed by 8:30.   It was crazy!   Even my family was saying, hey, this is how it is for all of us!    I can’t imagine how they did it.  I was so spoiled for 19 years free-lancing, that I didn’t realize how much energy it took to work full-time!   And then after you work a full day, there’s things to be done, like food shopping, cleaning, gardening, RUNNING!   How in the world do people do this???

Of course, I never ran the Wineglass Marathon, but I did go up and run the 5k and watched my two friends run the half.  It was a great weekend up in Corning.  And I’ve already used my deferral to register for this year’s full.   I did run a couple of local 5ks and ran down in Maryland at the Spook Hill 4 miler.   It was fun, and I was glad to be able to run the whole race.   I also ran the trail race that was part of the Runner’s World Half Festival.  It kicked my ass, but I finished!

By December I had gained 15 pounds.    I was clearly on the wrong path.   So I made it through the rest of the winter, and here’s where I find myself today.  And here’s the best part – every day is a new day to start over.  No matter what it is, you can wake up and start anew the next day.  So that’s what I’m doing, back to blogging, back to making smart food choices with the help of my dietitian, and, most important to me, back to running!

My race calendar this year is as follows:   Wineglass Marathon in October.   Runner’s World Half Festival, in which I’ll do all four races.  It’s a crazy idea, but I’m doing it.  I know it’s going to take some hard work, but I’ll do it.    I hope to find a half somewhere in July  or August, just to get one in and do a long race before October.    But before then, it’s just putting in the miles and getting back to my routine.

My garden fared much better over the past year.   I got every tender shrub caged, so no rabbits were feeding on them this winter.   It is soon spring, so things are starting to wake up.  The snow drops have been appearing since January.   The daffodils are now most of the way up and if the weather stays warm we should get flowers by next week.

I’m planning a new garden in front of the screen porch at the top of our yard.   I hope to include my wildlife pond in that garden.  The rain barrels need to be reattached to the spouting this weekend, as we had to move them to rehab the screen porch last fall.

I’ll do some spring clean up this weekend.  I also need to place the native bee box out.  And I found and aphid box from Knox Cellars.  Apparently the aphid killer wasps will use these to store aphids in so the wasp larvae can feed on the aphids.   Nature is amazing!

Happy Running and Gardening!













It’s National Running Day!!

It’s National Running Day, and I finally ran a mile – 1.2 miles to be exact!   After being able to get in just a half-mile this past week, I finally decided today was the day to do a mile.  What a great feeling it was!  Being injured really sucks.   It was so nice to just run and let everything go.

My hip and groin both felt fine today while I was running.   It actually hurt me more to be out in the garden weeding tonight.  Progress is such a good thing.  I finally have some hope to get in some races this year.  I was afraid to register for anything, for fear that I might just reinjure myself.   But, have no fear, I’ll be out on a race course in no time!

I also met with my dietician today, and I’m proud to say I’ve finally lost some weight.   I had gained six pounds since January, but since I’ve been walking again, and now I’m running, I’m down two pounds.  I’m on my way again, and it feels good!!

To all of you who think you can’t do it, yes, you can.  I don’t want anyone to think that being injured can keep you down forever.   Just taking that first step is the key.   I was so happy when I was allowed to even start walking again.   Now that I’ve finally got my first mile running in again, I know I’m on my way.

These past few months I’ve had to devote most of the blog to gardening, but this mile today leads me to believe that it will be more evenly devoted to running and gardening!

So, until next time, happy running and gardening!!


Lots of Progress

As of last Friday, I won’t be going to PT for another two weeks.  Yay!   Kim, my therapist, said the best thing I can do now is more rest, do the exercises she’s been showing me, and increase my walking.  So there it is.   I was able to do two miles today.  I came home and just iced my hip, just because I thought I should.  I did not have pain, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

Actually, when I first started running and for almost a year or two thereafter, when I would come home from a run I would  ice my knees.  They never bothered me, but it felt good, and it was a good excuse to sit down and enjoy breakfast and coffee after a run.

With any luck, my running will be back on track soon, and more of this blog will be devoted to that subject!    So for the people who want to read this for the running, hang in there!    I promise I’ll start devoting as much time to that as I do to the gardening!

Now, for my fellow gardeners — isn’t this just the best time of year to be a gardener?  As I sit here writing this, I can look out my window see my neighbor, a veggie gardener, working in his garden, finishing building his raised beds.  He’s already offered me fresh lettuce out of the garden, which I happily accepted.   In exchange, I do provide his wife with flowers from the garden.   It’s the perfect situation, in my eyes!

The wrens are back claiming their boxes.    I love to hear them calling out for a mate to just come in and see what a fine twig nest they’ve made for laying eggs in.   They have some of the sweetest songs you can hear in the garden.  We always have at least two nest boxes with chicks in.

In the mini meadow, the golden Alexanders are starting to bloom.   Some of the iris crestata have appeared.  They’ve certainly multiplied in numbers since I planted them two years ago.   And on the mound the foam flowers are blooming.  I have a few that are all white and some are tinged with pink.  Don’t ask me what variety they are.   I’m not a good record keeper in that area.  If I see something that looks nice, I buy it.

I know I espouse the goodness of our native plants, but I will buy other plants as long as they’re not invasive.   Blooming this week were my Tree Peonies.  I love a tree peony, because they just don’t fall over like regular peonies, and I think their flowers are much more impressive.   They take a little while to establish and start blooming, but it’s well worth the wait.

If you have a woodland garden, you must be seeing Jack-in-the-pulpits.  These wondrous plants start out like little aliens poking up through the ground.  First, you’ll see their three leaves and think it’s poison ivy.  But those of us who have them await the arrival of Jack himself.  I’ve got a few nice ones here in the garden.  In fact, I’ve had some pop up in places that I never planted.   Apparently the former owner had planted them, or just maybe they were here forever and reestablished themselves.

As usual, I leave you with pictures from this week’s garden glories!


Tree peony

Tree peony

Tree peony

Jack-in-the-pulpit  Great for a woodland garden or shady nook

Jack-in-the-pulpit Great for a woodland garden or shady nook

Golden Alexanders in the mini meadow.

Golden Alexanders in the mini meadow.

Foam flowers

Foam flowers

Happy Running and Gardening!


Lesson Learned

The biggest lesson I learned from not running while I heal has been that I’m a runner.  It’s taken me eight years to really believe it.   Every day that I can’t run, it bothers me more.   I love the feeling of going out in the cool spring mornings, with the moon still visible and the birds that have returned for the year singing like they’re trying out for The Voice.   I love when I’m out running and seeing people in their cars, going to their jobs, while I’m enjoying a good workout.  I’m thankful to be able to get my early morning runs in.   Those runs help me get a good start to my days.  I love the feeling of getting back to my home after a run.   When I get there, I do my stretches out by the garden, followed by three sun salutations, being thankful for the day that’s about to begin.   I love that that feeling carries over when I come back in the house for breakfast, and then I make good choices for something to eat.   Whether I have a good run or a mediocre run, I still remember that I was out there, and I can carry that with me through the whole day.

Today I went out for a short quarter-mile walk.  It was wonderful!  It was only the second time I’ve been out purposely to walk.  I haven’t been released from the PT to run yet, but I tried to run just a few steps on my short time out there.   It didn’t feel bad until my last few running steps, so I stopped.  It’s only eight weeks to my first race of the year, and I don’t want to have any setbacks on my road to recovery.

I have another PT session tomorrow.   These sessions have mostly consisted of stretching exercises.  This Monday I really had a breakthrough with a new stretch she showed me.   I feel like my right quad is finally starting to feel less tension in it.  My hip is extremely better.  That’s the reason I finally went out again today.  I want to try, but I don’t want to overdo anything.    My regular therapist will be off tomorrow, so I’ll see a different one.  It will be interesting to see if he has anything more that he can show me.  I do love my current therapist, but I think it’s good to get a fresh perspective, too.  Besides, I hear he’s a runner and a cyclist, so I’m interested to meet him and get his view.

In the garden this week,  still not a lot going on out there.    Daffodils are showing themselves more.   I put some pansies in pots and the window boxes.   When I attended the last lecture at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, the speaker from the Xerces Society encouraged us not to disturb the leaves left over in the garden from last year until we started seeing insects flying in the air.  The reason for this was that the native bees that nest underground will still be hibernating under the leaves until it gets warm enough to get out and fly.   So those piles of leaves will stay there yet.   It looks messy, but that’s okay.   We need the bees more than we need to clean up!

Happy running and gardening!


I should have just run!

Just about every morning this winter, my rhododendron has been totally closed up.   This can only mean one thing – IT’S FREEZING OUTSIDE!   So the weenie runner in me told me, don’t go out and run, work out in the basement!   And I did tell you that I was working out to videos and doing some runs, but not a lot.

My rhododendron has been looking like this most of the winter.

My rhododendron has been looking like this most of the winter.

So after I got bored doing the videos, I decided I would do my deck of cards as exercises.  I put my guide on the wall, and as I turned over cards that would equate to what exercise I would do and how many of each, which equals out to about 85 of each move per session.  Now, even though I haven’t done jumping jacks in a while, I went at it with full force.   Guess what happened?   I hurt myself.

I know only three burpees for an ace.   They're hard!

I know, only three burpees for an ace. They’re hard!

The pain in my groin was excruciating!  I could barely lift my leg.   When I tried to get up from sitting down I was in pain.  I called the doc, got some x-rays, which turned out negative, and then I was sent to the PT.    The verdict – I have to stretch out my tensor fascia lata, three times a day.   And, there will be no running until the PT okays it.

Stretch it out!

Stretch it out!

If I had just put on my big runner panties and got out and did my regular runs, I would not be in the predicament I find myself in!    I have a half-marathon in June in Vermont.  I wanted to really have a good run.  So I’m going to be a good patient and do all I can now to fix my problem, so that I can start my training for June.   I ran this race last year, and I would like to redeem myself from my three-hour finish. (My worst ever!)  I was stuck in the back of the pack playing my head games with myself.

I knew, before this injury, that I would be coming into it stronger this year.  I’m going to keep my head in the right place and get this injury fixed and start training.   Until then, I’ll work on what I can to get ready for the race.

In the garden this week,  it’s a rabbit buffet!  They’re eating my blueberry bushes, my newly planted shrubs from last year, and even the ilex that they never touched before!!   Although I put fencing and chicken wire up, some of it was not high enough to prevent them from reaching over once all the snow fell.   So every time it snows, I need to go out and shovel out around the base of any shrubs that they’re eating, so they can’t reach up any higher.

I cannot wait for the snow to end!!

Happy running (or rehabbing) and gardening!